Year One Excerpt – Updated to include Chapter 2

Late last fall, Nora wrote a blog post about New Directions in which she shared the challenges and excitement of starting down a new path.  I watched from the peanut gallery as Nora sweated through writing Year One.  She’d share tiny bits and pieces of what was happening in the book so I first met the characters and situations through her verbal storytelling.

When I had an opportunity to read it in the spring, I nearly swallowed Year One in one gulp.   I remembered the verbal cues and would get to one, then press on for the next.  It’s an amazing start to the ride.

Now,  it’s time for you to get a first taste of the journey that starts December 5.  I’ve read comments from long time readers unhappy with the direction, wanting more traditional romance.  For those readers, I ask you to consider this:  relationships are the framework of this book and Nora’s approach to relationships is why you’ve read her for more than 30 years.  There’s enough familiar to balance the different so I encourage you to give it a try.  Borrow from the library if you’re not keen to invest in something unknown.  But try.

Edited 12/7/17 — Updated to include chapter two here.


77 thoughts on “Year One Excerpt – Updated to include Chapter 2”

  1. I for one am very excited about this. I remember how hesitant I was to start the In Death books, and now I love them. I’m so anxious for this book because I read a lot of end of the world/apocalypse books and to have one written by NR?? Yes please!

  2. I am looking forward to the book, which will be another Nora triumph of story telling. I will abstain from reading the first chapter as it would, most likely, irritate me that I can’t keep going. So, I will be patient and wait.

  3. I can’t WAIT to read this book. It is exciting to see Nora branch out and try something new and different. At a time in her life when many writers would be either retiring, or resting on their laurels, she is stretching and growing and evolving. That’s a good thing- a very good thing!

  4. Great first chapter! I’m very much looking forward to seeing where it’ll go from there 🙂

    I mainly love Nora for her take on love and relationships, the framework is “less” important!

  5. I’m not sure why folks are worried about a new direction. The J.D. Robb series is completely different from her mysteries or romances or trilogies. For that matter, each trilogy is different from the others. I liked both the Three Sisters trilogy & the Key trilogy but I liked the Born In series more than those other two. It’s not that any was better or worse, it’s which story catches you at a particular time. Nora tells stories. I read stories. She can write whatever she wants & I will read it because one thing I know for sure, that woman tells a good story.

  6. In my humble opinion – I ABSOLUTELY loved this. I was immediately in the settings, both away and at home as well as experiencing the friendship and family ties. I ate and drank with the characters. I celebrated and suffered with them. I felt a bit of JD Robb while reading of the Doom – but I liked that!

    1. I felt a little bit of Robb in this as well. Maybe, J. D. Roberts? Nora Robb? ?

  7. I’m excited to read Nora’s new book. All her books are fabulous. Sorry I never read first chapters, for some reason it spoils the story for me when I finally read the book. I’ll just be patient and wait for the book when it comes out.

  8. I read the first chapter this morning and was riveted. So very excited for the book to come out. I have every faith this trilogy will be as exciting and enjoyable as previous works.

  9. Oh wow!! I can’t wait for this book! It’s darker than what we’re used to but I’m so looking forward to this! One thing though, I’m trying to get my head around a different angle to the whole stone circle in Scotland thing. I’m right now on the last book of Outlander which also uses the stone circles but dipicted in a different light. Can’t wait for this book nonetheless xx

  10. I can totally feel Nora in this chapter. Dark for sure. But already hooked!

  11. Wow. I can’t wait until December. I’m really excited to start this new series

  12. I think it sounds amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on the full book!

  13. WOW, loved chapter 1, can’t wait for the book. It will be a page turner for sure. Love your writings.

  14. I’ve been excited for awhile to see where this trilogy would go. After reading chapter 1, I’m so excited for December! I’ve read all of Ms. Roberts/Robb’s books and this will be no different. I like distopian worlds and I’m excited to see how this one goes.

  15. Wow! I can’t wIt til December!! I love that it started in Ireland, I am excited at Nora’s new direction. I have loved everything so far!

  16. I’m not a critic
    Just a reader and nora fan for 20 yrs

  17. Wow! I can’t wait til December!! I love that it started in Ireland, I am excited at Nora’s new direction. I have loved everything so far!

  18. It is different from Nora’s usual fare but she said that in the newsletter. Not so different, though, as I think back over her work, including the Robb books.
    However, to stagnate, to never change, to never stretch your wings is not growth, not living.
    I can’t wait to delve into this new path as Nora’s books never disappoint.
    Also, as I always say, if you want to control what a book is about, write your own.

  19. This had me on the edge of my seat the whole way! And it’s only the first chapter! Goodness, it’s gonna be a suspenseful ride when we finally get it! Can’t wait!!!

  20. Not read Nora? Insane!! This excerpt had the hairs on my neck standing up!! Counting the days till we can buy it.

  21. I can’t wait to read the rest of this book! It had me right from the beginning and now I can’t wait to se what happens next!

  22. I’m so excited for this book and I can’t wait til December!!!

  23. I’m surprised this hooked me right away, but knowing Nora’s writing, I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m a huge JDRobb fan, and i don’t usually go for the supernatural/paranormal. But I’m willing to give something new a try- I really enjoyed the Three Sisters Island Trilogy, even tho it’s not my usual genre. So hat’s off to Nora for trying something new- and I can’t wait to continue reading this one.

  24. I am very excited for this new trilogy! I too was hesitant to start the JD Robb books when I first discovered Nora, but once I did, I was so glad. They are now my favorite. I love everything Nora writes and the directions and topics she explores. I would never suggest for her to change a thing. I am very grateful that she shares her talent for writing with us allowing her readers the chance to escape into many different stories. Every one is satisfying surprise.

  25. I never comment, and never read first chapters, but Nora and Laura’s comments peaked my interest — and now I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  26. I absolutely cannot wait for this new direction in your story telling! So exciting!!

  27. OK it’s different start than most of the NR’s I’ve read, but this one gets you hooked and now I’ve got to finish this book!!!!!! Of course I’m kinda that way on all of Nora’s books!!!!!!

  28. Ok, I’m hooked! Just that little taste of Year One, and I can’t wait for the rest!

  29. OMG, OMG, I was hooked from the first paragraph! Nora’s voice and her style of writing has a way of grabbing you, pulling you in, and not letting go! (It reminded me a bit of the SARS scare of several years back and how people were infecting one another unknowingly!) Cannot wait to get the book. Thank you,

  30. Looking forward to following Nora down this new path. I’m not usually a fan of “apocalyptic” type of stories, but I’m going to venture into it. The first chapter captured my interest whole heartedly!

  31. I cannot wait to get into this book, I love the way Nora writes and pulls you in in the first paragraph, I do have some other Nora Roberts and JD Robb to read before then, so excited!!!

  32. So far I am THOROUGHLY enjoying this – perhaps not a book to read if one feels they have the sniffles or a tummy bug. But I can’t wait to see where else it goes.

  33. Many have said this but Nora , you are a very talented writer…have given your readers hours of “escape”! You had me at the first sentence of the excerpt & look forward to reading the rest of the story! Cheers to the new path!

  34. Okay, so I’m officially freaked out! That was an amazing first paragraph and pretty much grabbed you and refused to let go!

  35. Oh my! One chapter just isn’t enough; this is really gripping and suspenseful!! I’m looking forward to this new series. 🙂

  36. Is this going to be the first in a series of how many??
    I’m not sure after reading the first chapter.
    I might get the book from the library and give it a go, to make up my mind…

  37. Now I’m looking forward to a new book in addition to Black Friday and holidays! Had decided I probably wasn’t going to enjoy this story, but after reading this, I want more. Shouldn’t be surprised considering the author. Amazing talent.

  38. Did I miss something? Was reading about Rob & Ross on the first page and the top of page 2 (which is numbered 4), Hugh appears. Who is Hugh?

  39. Not starting off the best….I would rather just have a good romance.. but I’m a die hard Roberts fan….I’ll buy the book anyhow , anyway.

  40. Thank God I had the sense to preorder this book! Holy cow! I’m hooked.
    I trust Nora in whatever genre she chooses to go.
    She’s gonna knock this one right out of the park! Thanks Nora for taking me along for the ride.

    1. Does this book have a happy ending a sad ending or bittersweet ending? I want to finish reading it but it seems so dark that it wouldn’t have a happy or bittersweet ending. I’m not a big fan of sad endings. The books I’ve read mostly have happy or bittersweet ending’s but since this is a new change it makes me wonder.

      1. Just realized my question would be a spoiler to anyone else but can’t figure out how to delete it..

  41. I will read anything Nora Roberts writes under any pseudonym. Period. As many previously said or implied, she tells awesome stories no matter what. She’s a master word crafter, and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how she manipulates word and phrase for years. This first chapter brought me instantly into the comfort before the shoe drops excitement that several of her books involving Ireland have. But the direction of it makes me salivate to find out where she goes with something so huge. I personally didn’t get the harder edged J. D. Robb feel at all in this first chapter, but I do feel it will be more vast in content than ever before. Can’t wait now!

  42. Writers have to grow. I love Nora’s books. I’m a die hard fan and love the the new books more than the Harlequins. 🙂

  43. Yep and yep….gonna love it!! To take from a previous comment, I have the chills… literally. Along with the sore throat and fever. Summer bug or allergies? Or the Doom!!? I pray Nora’s not prophetic! Lol. As usual, Nora’s got me wrapped around her little finger! Thanks girl!! I like your direction!?➡➡➡↗?

  44. Change is good! But with you I am sure will be Great!
    I will follow you, you write it, I will read it! You have kept me entertained for more years then I can remember. I love the J.D. Robb ‘IN DEATH’ series also. Have reread many of them.
    Thank you for keeping it fresh!

  45. SO EXCITED to read this! I may have to make myslef wait until Christmas break so I can devour it all at once.! I love that Nora keeps changing things up, her books just get better and better each year, I think, because she challenges and stretches herself to not stay in a rut! 🙂

  46. New Direction,
    A turn in the road,
    I will follow
    As we go!
    I am hooked
    On this new book!

  47. What’s made me interested in this trilogy is how the plot reminded me of other stories I’ve either watched or read in the past. Some people have compared the plot to the Hunger Games, not knowing that it’s more a clone of Battle Royale by Takami Koushun.

    If anything, the plot and setting reminds me of Fist of the North Star, Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City, Deathlands and The Survivalist. I imagine that none of you would know these stories I just referenced but I can tell you that Vampire Hunter D and Wicked City are both written by the same author Hideyuki Kikuchi.

  48. I agree with most of these statements. A couple in particular. Without change you stagnate. You can’t grow. Nora/JD would remain the same & get BORING!!!! Bite my tongue. This is adding another layer to her story telling & by golly( who says that anymore? Apparently I do) in this she hits the target & more. The first chapter alone hits all the right buttons for me. Family, togetherness, magick, sorrow. What is to come?? A lot, lot more hopefully. Go Nora.

  49. Oh, OH! I can’t wait until this comes out in December! Just grabs you and pulls you right in!

  50. I know that some readers are little put off by Nora’s new direction but I could not be more excited. Apocalypse stories are my latest passion and now I have one to look forward to that has been written by my favorite author. It will be the best Christmas present ever.

    Can’t wait!

  51. Liked this book a lot. (My book group is passing around an ARC.) I think I’ll wait for the rest of the trilogy before deciding how it compares with Nora’s romances (of various types) and mysteries. Romance fans need not fear. The book has several romantic relationships that I enjoyed. [Laura Note: I edited the rest of this because it does constitute spoilers.]

    1. Hi Kari,

      Glad you enjoyed Year One. I removed the last few sentences of your post because they did constitute a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the book. Teasers are one thing but we try to avoid direct information from a book before publication so people can go into it with a blank slate.

      Thanks for understanding.

  52. The first chapter has me hooked! I think this might make for a great movie. And if this is the first of a trilogy, even better!

  53. I talk about my love for Roberts’ books all the time and that what drove one of my friends to start reading her books too!
    I will admit, I am one of the people who are terribly afraid of YEAR ONE… Oh no, don’t get me wrong.
    I have no doubt the book is going to be amazing, I know Nora can write whatever she puts her mind and heart into.
    The problem is, I am going to miss her usual romances (Good thing I still have some on the shelf waiting to be read).
    I will not say I can’t wait for December because honestly, I can’t wait for the trilogy to be written and published.
    I never start book 1 if book 2 and 3 are not available!
    That is simply torture.
    And I honestly prefer the kind of “not knowing” torture to the one of “I know and I want more”, because as we are all aware of, we will always want more from Nora!
    Fingers Crossed and Good Luck in everything!!
    And to others who are criticizing this New Direction, I say, give it a chance first, I know I will 🙂

  54. Loved the excerpt…hated the excerpt. Hated? Because December is ages away and I’m SO hooked already!!!!! Love her trying something new and the very human nervousness, and willingness to admit it, about doing so. Love the old, love the new still my fav writer of all time and go-to library when I don’t know what I’m in the mood to read.

    One of these years my daughter (I got her started on Nora several years ago and she was hooked right away!) and I are going to do her luncheon event…it’s a bucket list thing. Plus, we want another trip to Ireland (which was also Nora’s fault. LOL)

  55. I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of this new book – and can only say it was SUPERB . My only problem now is that I have even longer to wait for Year Two !

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